Story/Interview October 14, 2019
Jessica is Lead for Geography and teaches Key Stage 2 up to Key Stage 5 at King's InterHigh. Having been with King's InterHigh for two years, she has fallen in love with teaching again!
"Students are engaging, funny, intelligent, enthusiastic, hardworking and above all, kind! It’s refreshing and a wonderful atmosphere to work in."
What are your professional qualifications/accreditations?
BSc (hons) Geography & Environmental Management; Qualified Teacher Status; PGCE Secondary Geography.
Why did you decide to go into teaching?
Before I decided to go into teaching I worked in numerous roles after university, from a controller with the RSCPA, to finance clerk with the MOD and cabin crew for an airline (yes, I was the one showing you how to fit your life jacket!). I did enjoy each and every one of these roles, but my real passion was my love of learning and working with young people, so the classroom called me!
I was also inspired by my geography teacher, Sister Finnian, who had such a positive impact on me and really fuelled my enthusiasm for learning. She was a truly inspirational teacher, who from the beginning gave me such a wonderful experience in school.
What is it that you love about teaching?
I love learning and I love seeing and helping others to learn. A teacher changes lives, not every single one, but a lot and you get to see it happen, and it’s extraordinary. You know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you are doing good in the world. And there is something intoxicating about helping a young person become the amazing person they are going to become. It’s just breathtaking sometimes. Yes, it’s hard, sometimes thankless, and often exhausting… but it is so worth it!
What was your teaching experience before joining King's InterHigh?
For 15 years I taught Humanities and was an Achievement Co-ordinator in a large, mixed comprehensive school in Herefordshire. I was lucky enough to work with some wonderful colleagues and some exceptional young people.
What inspired you to make the change to teaching at an online school?
Unfortunately, like many teachers, the daily grind of battling with behaviour, the bottomless mark load and my two-and-a-half-hour round trip every day started to take its toll. It was a very difficult decision to leave a job and a place I loved, and I did feel like it was leaping into the unknown.
How is teaching with King's InterHigh different to teaching at a bricks and mortar school?
I have now been working for King’s InterHigh for nine months and I have never looked back! Working for King’s InterHigh has made me fall in love with teaching all over again. I can honestly say that I go to work every morning excited as to what the day might bring. Students are engaging, funny, intelligent, enthusiastic, hardworking and above all kind.
Students are extremely helpful towards others in lessons and on occasions have helped me out when I am struggling with the technology! Lessons are highly effective and we are able to cover a lot of content as there are no interruptions. Everyone is focused and ready to learn. It’s refreshing and a wonderful atmosphere to work in.
What is the best feature of King's InterHigh for you as a teacher?
As a teacher, I believe the best feature of King’s InterHigh is the quality of the lessons being delivered. They are extremely well prepared, engaging, challenging and bring out the best in all pupils. Also, students can learn in the comfort of their own homes with no distractions and no pressure from their peers.
How does the King's InterHigh online platform enrich lessons for both you and the students?
Being able to communicate with students on a one-to-one basis so regularly about their work and attainment is extremely beneficial. They are effectively getting consistent feedback on every piece of work they submit or contribute in class. This in turn enables the students to progress quickly and they can see this improvement.
Do you take part in any activities outside of the classroom?
I actively support my local Rotary Club, specialising in educational events. I also enjoy helping out at my local Cubs group where I am usually on hand when they are trying to earn their hiking or canoeing badge. To relax, I love to sew, and my ambition is to one day apply to be on the Great British Sewing Bee. Finally, I enjoy the outdoors and I am so lucky to live in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, so it is never a problem to find a good hill or two to climb!